University of Wisconsin–Madison

About Posse

Group of studentsA “posse” is a small, diverse group of talented students, carefully selected and trained, to serve as a catalyst for increased individual and community development.

University of Wisconsin-Madison was in 2002 the first major public research institution to launch this unique program. Approximately 155 merit scholarships have been awarded thus far.

Posse identifies leadership talent, ability to work in a team with people from diverse backgrounds and a desire to succeed. Once selected, Posse Scholars enroll in a 32-week training program during their senior high school year. They arrive on campus academically prepared and motivated to foster positive social change.

Interesting Facts

  • Posse is one of the most comprehensive college access, diversity, and youth leadership development programs in the country.
  • It was founded in 1989.
  • Posse recruits, selects and trains public high school students and sends them to college in multicultural teams of 10 (“Posses”) to be a support network for each other and to be catalysts of change on campus.
  • Posse specializes in identifying nontraditional students who might be overlooked by the traditional admissions processes at selective colleges and universities.
  • To date, Posse has sent 3,148 students to college.
  • These Scholars have won over $334 million in full-tuition, leadership scholarships from Posse’s partner colleges and universities.
  • Posse currently has 38 top-tier college and university partners.
  • Posse Scholars persist and graduate at a rate of 90 percent – well above the national average.
  • Posse is established in 7 cities (Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, L.A., Miami, New York, and D.C.).
  • Posse’s long-term goals are to open chapters in 10 cities within the next 10-15 years; to work with about 80 university partners; to recruit 1,000 students each year; to serve 4,000 enrolled students; and to graduate 1,000 student each year into the workforce.
  • In 2009, close to 12,000 students were nominated for Posse Scholarships across the country.